Alison Lou x Staud

Alison Chemla doesn’t need words to communicate exactly how she’s feeling. All the jewelry designer requires are a few of her emoji-inspired pieces and a good dose of humor (of which she has plenty). In 2012, Chemla (above right) launched her fine jewelry label, Alison Lou, and quickly gained a cult following for her quirky, emoticon-inspired creations amongst the fashion-celebrity set (think Cara Delevingne, Jemima Kirke, and Ashley Olsen). Now, she’s opened a brand new store on New York’s Upper East Side and collaborated with her West Coast equivalent, Sarah Staudinger (the designer behind Staud), on a collection of mushroom brooches. Quirky, yes; innovative, double yes.

Chemla’s store brings a dose of Uptown solace to her occasionally outrageous jewelry, outfitted in muted color ways with a Renaissance-inspired mural covering the wall. Her collection with Staud however, skews a little more LA. After knowing each other for over a decade, Staudinger and Chemla came together in a full collaborative design effort to create a collection that blends their personalities and their businesses, as well as their friendship. The hand painted pins are available in four different colors and three sizes, and stemmed from the duo's desire to create something that truly represents their personalities (and aesthetics). “We have always wanted to collaborate on something together," says Chemla. "We have supported each other’s brands since day one, and we thought that brooches would be the perfect culmination of both of our brand identities. They combine the sophistication of STAUD and the whimsical, yet refined, elements of Alison Lou. Our brooches can be worn on sweaters, jackets and bags (especially STAUD ones)… not to mention we wanted to make some fungi’s for some fun times!”

Alison Lou, 20 East 69th Street, New York

Alison Lou x Staud mushroom pins, crafted from brass and hand-painted enamel work. Prices range from $110 to $195 and will be sold exclusively at both brands’ stores and e-commerce sites.

Mansur Gavriel

Mansur Gavriel has the kind of cult-loved status that most labels dream about. Their eponymous bucket bag continues to sell out (shortly after launching it had a 2000 person wait list), and their chic, pastel-focused campaigns are Instagram perfect. Now, the brand has opened its very first pop-up store in Soho, New York, complete with pink interiors, an exclusive pastel pink-hued “baby” bucket bag—it fits snugly in the palm of your hand—and a flower shop from the latest florist du jour, BRRCH. They’re also stocking (in customary Mansur style), postcards and posters, and sales assistants are bedecked in calf-length dresses. It’s a Mansur world.

Mansur Gavriel, 134 Wooster St, New York

Little Liffner

Stockholm-based handbag label Little Liffner specializes in creating chic, practical bags at an affordable price point (their mini versions start at $400). In keeping with the Scandinavian mindset (each bag is as useful as it is stylish, and is made from Italian-sourced leather), is the sleek, minimalist design. From totes and saddle bags to chain strap shoulder bags, most styles feature a round ring and are available in bold, dynamic hues. These are bags that don't require a label—although you'll likely get stopped on the street so people can ask you where yours is from.

Now, they've partnered with Net-a-Porter on a capsule collection featuring three exclusive styles (including the ring tote and tiny box) in delectable, fall-ready shades and fabrics. As chic founder Paulina Liffner von Sydow says, “I want the Little Liffners to offer stylish and functional companionship to women when they go about their busy lives, confidently moving through diverse worlds and contexts.”

Buy them here.

J.Hannah jewelry

Jess Hannah’s line of minimal, but incredibly chic jewelry is easy to wear. No matter your style, age, or the occasion, her sustainably-sourced, handmade pieces cross the line between classic and trend. They’re staples, like underwear, or coffee, or sunshine. “My line is really versatile, it's not for one particular type of person,” she explains. “It's designed to become a part of the wearer and lend to anyone’s style and personality.”

Created in downtown LA, where Hannah casts her eye over every part of the creation process, “I used to make everything myself when I first started - now I oversee everything. It's super important to me that each piece passes through my hands and microscope. I'm very meticulous,” her pieces have the ease and simplicity of a favorite pair of jeans. She originally studied graphic design, but followed her passion for jewelry making, launching the label in late 2014. “When I graduated, I applied to a few graphic design jobs, nothing I was too excited about… not to mention I didn’t actually get any of them. That disappointment was the push I needed to reconsider what I was doing. Instead of applying to more jobs that I wasn’t really interested in, I got an apprenticeship with a local jeweler duo. I worked with them for about a year and then set out to do my own thing.”

The line is filled with a mix of solid 14k gold and silver pieces, ranging from thick gold bands and hoops to delicate, ‘50s-inspired chokers (Hannah’s grandmother and her jewelry collection is constant inspiration) and ultra-fine, stackable rings. In the end, Hannah says it best—“I call them timeless staples.”


Jacquie Aiche cameo jewelry

Cameo's might still seem like a piece your grandmother would favor, but in the fashion world Grandma-inspired styles are back, and there are plenty of brands reinvigorating their Nanna's closets. Case in point: Los-Angeles-based jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche's take on the cameo. Realized in ring form, Aiche's designs are modern spinoffs of the classic piece, featuring a unicorn, rose, and Nefertiti-style silhouette. They've already been spotted on Rihanna (an ardent member of the Jacquie Aiche fan club), and will likely be appearing on many more hands. 

Anissa Kermiche Jewelry

You might think, upon discovering Anissa Kermiche's namesake jewelry label, that she is a wild bohemian spirit uninhibited by life's mundanity. In fact, the London-based designer was raised to be anything but. Born in Paris, Kermiche's strict mother instilled a strong work ethic in her daughter. When it was clear that a job in a creative field would not be supported by her family, Kermiche worked as an engineer before turning to her true love—jewelry—studying at Central Saint Martins and Holts Academy. Now her line (which can easily be added to the list of new, interesting jewelry labels to obsess over), is being lauded for its unusual take on the everyday. Kermiche creates necklaces out of female busts (rubies take the place of nipples) and legs (her Precieux Pubis pendant features crossed legs with a triangular onyx representing the pubis).

Her work isn't restricted to the female form however. Pearl earrings curl like tiny cocoons and appear to travel through ear lobes, diamond chokers replicate the swirling plastic versions worn obsessively in the '90s, and diamond studded ear suspenders are designed to hug the ear. Inspired by everyday shapes like lamps, paintings, and sculptures, Kermiche's pieces are the one-of-a-kind specimens that are unique enough to cherish, but cool enough to wear everyday. 


Kayu Summer Tote Bags

Ever since Jane Birkin first walked the streets swinging a basket from her arm, the nonchalant look has become a summertime go-to. This season, the ubiquitous basket bag has reached its peak. There’s Cult Gaia’s ark bag, which is modeled after a Japanese picnic basket, the St Barth's-inspired plain market bag, small bags, wicker baskets, and then there’s Kayu. Undoubtedly a favorite amongst the style set, they’re bags with flair. Handles are covered in stripes, bags are monogrammed and affixed with pompoms, and in some cases, stripes of shaggy raffia cover the front and back. While the label also stocks clutches and totes. The basket bag is undoubtedly its best seller. And for good reason—this is the bag you want as your beach companion.

Get yours here.  

Sarah Flint Shoes

Starting a successful shoe label at the age of 24 may seem daring, but if you insist on wearing tap shoes to school, secured an internship at DvF as a teenager, and spent time at Proenza Schouler, it’s more of a natural progression than a crazy risk. Shoe designer Sarah Flint is such a person. Flint launched her namesake label in 2013 after studying at the prestigious shoe design school, Ars Sutoria in Italy, a locale she still looks to for inspiration and creation—all of her shoes are handmade in local factories.

Looking to Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and her Grandmother (who was an artist living in Paris) as influences, Flint’s designs exude luxury, elegance, and simplicity. Her love of the mid-height heel allows the wearer ultimate comfort, while still displaying sensuality. A combination which has gotten her designs into upscale boutiques and Barneys, not to mention onto the feet of celebrities such as Blake Lively, Alexa Chung and Amal Clooney, who counts The Emma as a favorite.

-Written by Scout Sabo

Yosuzi Hats

Come summertime, a hat becomes an essential accessory. Last season saw the rise of the boater style, while this year an entirely new brand is taking over the hat game. Yosuzi, a South American inspired label that focuses on hats with bright colors, patterns, and colorful adornments, has become a favorite of the fashion set (Poppy Delevingne, Tamu McPherson and Elina Halimi are fans). 

Created by Venezuelan-born designer Yosuzi, the label takes inspiration from her family's native American heritage. Hats are made from 100% Iraka palm straw and finished with a handwoven, diagonal weaving technique that is unique to the tribe (each hat takes eight hours to make). Consider them an investment that will last beyond this summer, and into the next.

Dear Frances Shoes

Australian-born designer Jane Frances is based in London, handcrafts her shoes in Northern Italy, and sells her label, Dear Frances, worldwide. Launched in 2014, her easy-to-wear and affordable line (no shoe is over $600) includes a mix of slides made from sumptuous materials like suede and velvet—a pair from her upcoming Fall collection, available to shop in August, are shown above—ankle boots, and low, block heeled pumps. Frances counts timelessness and simplicity as her main directives, but subtle details elevate her footwear from minimal to must-have. One of her signatures is a slice of plexiglas through the heel of a shoe, another is a shot of mesh on her slides. 

With fans such as Beyoncé, Bella Hadid, Emma Roberts and the ever-stylish Amal Clooney, it's no wonder her line has already amassed a cult like following. 


-Written by Scout Sabo

Roxanne Assoulin Jewelry

Hear the name Assoulin and chances are you'll think of the chic, New York-based fashion designer and her dramatic, ruffled-filled line. However, Assoulin's mother-in-law, Roxanne Assoulin, has long been a force in the fashion industry. The jewelry designer began her career in 1983, when she launched her namesake line from her basement. It was sold at Henri Bendel and Neiman Marcus, and quickly gained the attention of designers like Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, and Marc Jacobs. She soon began creating custom pieces for their runway shows, and shortly thereafter launched another line, Lee Angel. 

In 2014 the designer returned to her eponymous label to work with Rosie, where she collaborated on pieces for her collections. Case in point: the mosaic-inspired chokers and button earrings in the designer's fall 2016 collection (shown above). Just like her daughter-in-law's playful designs, Assoulin's jewels are brightly hued and full of joy. In her own words: “Uncomplicated indulgence.” Things that provide pleasure but are not meant to be overthought—like a swim in the ocean or buying a fresh bouquet of flowers. And above all, the importance of a smile when you catch a glance at your wrist, ears, or neck.

Buy it here.

Katerina Makriyianni earrings

Cretan-born jewelry designer Katerina Makriyianni got her start early. While still a young girl, her parents opened a jewelry boutique and workshop, which specialized in unique, bespoke designs. Her interest sufficiently piqued, Makriyianni went on to study ballet and theatre throughout her childhood before following the family legacy and taking specialized courses in design and engraving. 

Years later, her eponymous label is making waves. Her collections are filled with a mix of ancient Greek-inspired bracelets and necklaces, rings made from hammered gold and colorful gemstones, and her now signature Kilims earrings (shown above). Already a fashion set favorite, they're the type of shoulder dusting statement makers that you want to wear whilst vacationing on a Greek island.

Order your pair here.

Christie Nicolaides

Australian-based jewelry designer Christie Nicolaides possesses the innate ability to create opulent, decadent earrings that don’t seem to be too much. Inspired by her Greek heritage and unique designs from ancient Mesopotamia, Nicolaides’ hand crafted pieces are dramatic, yet still modern (she credits the extra large proportions for the contemporary feel). Ranging from shoulder grazing earrings to rings, crowns, and necklaces, her creations often feature brightly hued semi-precious stones, coins, and beaten gold. Just like a Sicilian treasure that has been rediscovered after years hidden away in an ancient jewelry box, these are pieces you are thrilled to discover, then joyous to wear.

Own them now.

Kathryn and Lizzie Fortunato Capsule Jewelry Collection

There’s no doubt that the biggest jewelry trends of the moment are statements earrings and chokers. To that end, jewelry designer Lizzie Fortunato set about creating a 16-piece capsule collection full of just that: fringed and slightly tribal accented statement earrings and an array of chokers. “For me, chokers are best worn with a crewneck. I feel like a solid black or white top is easily dressed up by a leather choker with gold plating or semi-precious details,” says Kathryn Fortunato (the other half of the label). “Our chokers are made for day to night, they’re definitely not too fancy for the office.”

Consider it the ultimate capsule collection for the summer.

Available at Lizzie Fortunato , snap them up now. 

Gold chains

Fashion trends are cyclical, and while eccentricity and maximalism may reign in one area, they'll undoubtedly minimize in another. Case in point: dramatic earrings are in, so necklaces are paring back. Specifically, gold chains. From jewelry designer Kathleen Whitaker's fine gold chain to fashion assistants, the simple—charmless—gold chain is having a moment.

Forget pendants or baubles, the newest way to adorn your neck is with a plain chain—the simpler the better.

Mercedes Salazar earrings

Statement earrings have been a fixture on the runway for multiple seasons now, and besides the choker, are undeniably the accessory du jour.

However, bigger is always better, and Colombian designer Mercedes Salazar’s line of vibrant and (literally) shoulder dusting earrings are impressively dramatic. Her line has become a staple amongst the fashion and music set (Katy Perry donned a pair on Instagram and Lauren Santo Domingo), and her earrings the biggest hit. Made with a Latin influence in mind, the hand-made fabrications (like mini pom poms and swishy tassels) they have a certain joi de vivre that can sometimes only be achieved by putting on something fantastic.

Own a pair.

Hugo Matha handbags

French designer Hugo Matha has a way with accessories. Take his plexi glass and wooden clutches. They sound a little complicated, but the light-as-air 100 year old wood and curved, clear plexi glass (which acts as the lid), are both beautifully handcrafted sculptures and incredibly unique purses.

Born and raised on a vineyard in the Aveyron region of Southern France, Matha employs the same grape makers to craft his bags during the wine making off-season. For Fall 2016, he introduced a new silhouette to his repertoire: the tote/clutch hybrid. The shape is traditional Matha: inventive, practical, and unexpected. Wire handles make it sturdy and easy to carry and the front pocket practical. Consider him a new—and standout—member of the French fashion guard.

Own your own.

Quiet Storms

Located in Williamsburg on an unexpectedly peaceful stretch of Grand street resides Quiet Storms, a new jewelry boutique that feels more like a chic apartment than a place to shop for your newest accessory. A curved couch and ficcus tree greet you at the front door, and jewels are laid out on a center table, making it easy to touch (and try on), pieces you might want to invest in. The atmosphere however, is perfectly in line with the exquisite pieces that owner, Reshma Patel, has curated for the space. New standout jewelers like Annelise Michelson and Charlotte Chesnais sit beside Kathleen Whitaker and Sorelle NYC. Including a perfect mix of fine and fashion jewelry, these are lines that offer pieces you spot on your favorite fashionistas and wonder they got them.

Visit the store, 142 Grand St, Williamsburg

Summer Sandals: Brother Vellies and Carrie Forbes

Summer is for sunning, sunshine, sangria, and sandals. The bleak cold months of winter are over, and your toes can rejoice in open toe shoes. This season, there are two brands making the case for new shoes, Carrie Forbes and Brother Vellies.

Straight from her CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win this past fall, Aurora James (the founder and creative director of Brother Vellies) continues to deliver artistic creations that range from polished to show-stopping.  Not only will a pair of her sandals enhance any wardrobe, but they will also add an international flare. James’ designs, which are based on traditional African footwear, are hand produced by artisans in South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco.

Carrie Forbes also has a preference for the handmade. Following a successful career in hand crocheted bags, Forbes transitioned to footwear in 2014 after being inspired by a traditional Moroccan shoe that used raffia palms. The raffia goes through a rigorous treatment of oil and water to obtain dream-like comfort. Now all that’s left is a pedicure. 

Buy Brother Vellies and Carrie Forbes.

Lane Marinho Shoes

Hand making shoes seems like a lengthy process, but Brazilian designer Lane Marinho wouldn’t have it any other way. She equates the process with sculpting beauty and creating poetry, which is exactly what she achieves with her line of intricately decorated flat sandals. 

After studying graphic design at her local university, Marinho worked with a jewelry designer where she cultivated her appreciation of natural stones. She then won a national competition for Melissa Shoes and began her career in shoe design by working at some of the top shoe companies in Brazil. However, in 2013, her passion for the handmade inspired her to start her own line.

With Matisse, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Brazil as inspirations, it’s no surprise that color and material are driving forces in her collections. Through the process of experimenting on her own feet, she creates shoes that incorporate rope, natural shells, and embroidered stones—such as pearl, jade, and coral—creating footwear that seems more artistic endeavor than simple shoes.

Visit her website here. 

-Written by Scout Sabo